Valentines Day hasn’t imprinted itself in my memories like so many other holidays. I don’t feel a strong connection to the candy hearts or cheesy cards (although I do LOVE a good pun). My husband and I started a tradition when we first began dating that we would always make a fancy dinner and stay-in for the holiday. Now that we have two kids running circles around us all day, that fancy dinner morphed into a slightly-upgraded version of a normal dinner, and while it’s nice, it’s nothing spectacular.
Don’t get me wrong I adore my husband (hellooooo have you seen his pictures on here?), it’s just that we celebrate our anniversary on March 1st so Valentines Day just falls at a weird time and doesn’t connect us. Today I was trying to think of what the holiday REALLY means to me and all the different layers of love that I have in my life. Love for my husband. Love for my kids. Love for my life and all the blessings that go along with it. And finally, love for myself.
I’ve always had a hard time with self-love. It seems as though my entire life I’ve been striving to leave myself behind and transform into a thinner, smarter, more successful version of myself. Up until this past year I’m not sure that I’ve ever really, properly, given myself the kind of self-care that I’ve always deserved. I’m making up for a lot of lost time, years of abusing myself for not being good enough.
That’s when I decided to write myself a love letter for Valentines Day. If you’re feeling out of sorts, unappreciated, not your best self right now - I want you to write one too. You deserve to be absolutely showered in kind words, you magical babe, you.
Let’s aim for 750 words. It takes more effort than you would think but it’s completely do-able. Seven hundred and fifty words is three pages or so hand-written, and you deserve three pages of nice things. I also think you should check out https://750words.com/ if you’re trying to build a writing habit. It takes the ideas found in “The Artists Way” and makes it digital. Three pages also provides a nice framework to focus on three areas of ourselves and our lives that we can totally gush about.
Page 1: Our Physical Body
Go from head to toe and talk about all of your favorite physical characteristics as they are right now. In this present moment. Not what you hope they will be or what you’re molding them in to - but right now. This is a gratitude practice, so consider your body and what it has done for you and THANK YOUR BODY for carrying you through this life. Even though sometimes you give it too much wine and not enough exercise and definitely not enough sunscreen it still shows up for you everyday and makes your life possible. If you have had children, thank your body. If you ran a 5K, thank your body. If you like the dance or swim or walk in the woods THANK YOUR BODY and all of it’s imperfections for making that possible.
Page 2: Our Achievements
It’s easy to get stuck in the mental carousal of feeling like you’re not enough. It can feel like we’re surrounded by people doing more, making more, and making it look easy. You’ve done some amazing things in your life that you’re discounting, I promise. When I was fresh out of college I took a job in Chicago and moved there by myself - it wasn’t until this exercise that I really, truly, congratulated myself on how brave and incredible that was. You’ve made it this far which means that you are totally nailing this living-on-the-planet thing we’re all trying to do together. Go ahead and brag, you deserve it, babe.
Page 3: Our Soul
Every preference, every thing that brings you joy, is a little mini love letter to yourself. Whatever brings you into alignment is what makes you special and that deserves to be celebrated. We are all living on a rock hurling through time and space together in this moment and YOU, my dear Younicorn, are here for a reason. Write about your preferences and why you are grateful for them and all the joy they bring. Write about what makes your heart sing and how completely in love with yourself you are in those moments. Write about a time that you felt totally happy and at peace. For me, I’ll never forget drinking an Americano and watching the sunrise on our honeymoon in Queenstown, NZ. That moment is etched on my heart. Write about all of the things etched on your own heart, babe.
When your letter is finished print it out or tear it our of your journal and put it in an envelope like the love letter that it is. Give it a smooch. Spray it with some perfume. Address it with care. I’m going to keep it in my nightstand and save it for when I really need to see those words. When I stumble, or scream at my kids and then immediately cry out of guilt, or haven’t had a shower in a week.
In a world where comparison is constant and women are expected to do it all, have it all, and BE it all - let this letter be a reminder that you are perfect in this moment. You are incredible. You are enough. You are love.
Happy Valentines Day, my sweet friend.